You sent a text message, and it says “delivered”. Then a few moments later it changes to “read”, at which point you wait, expecting a response. None arrives though, and you’re left wondering why? Maybe you said the wrong thing and made the other person uncomfortable, made them mad, or perhaps they just don’t think a response is warranted.
Until that text gets answered, you’ll likely be feeling letdown and anxious about what’s going on. It sucks if what you texted was important, needed a response, or could compromise you in some way. It’s even worse though if you text someone you’re dating and don’t get a reply.
You’ve been left on “read”, and now you’re worried, running through a million scenarios in your head as to what’s wrong. Are they just busy, or did you say something bad? Maybe they don’t care the same way you do, and you should move on. This kind of second-guessing happens when we get left on read, and it’s not a nice feeling at all.
What we want most of all is a response to our text, but we’d also like to know why they didn’t respond and hear their excuses for leaving someone on read.
On the flip side, if you’re the person who for one reason or another has left someone on read, you really should get back to them asap. It’s not vital to reply immediately, because you could have your hands full, but you should realize that they’re probably waiting for a response and depending on the situation, could be suffering from mental anguish until you reply.
If for whatever reason you’ve failed to respond in a timely manner, then you’ll need some believable excuses for not replying. That is of course only if you care for or respect the person whose text you ignored. To help you out, we’ve put together this curated list of the best excuses for leaving someone on read – hope it helps!
The best general excuses for leaving someone on read
Out of all the excuses for not getting back to someone, the ones in this category are the most interchangeable of the bunch. Blame the cell phone company, your concentration, or your clumsy fingers but these reasons can get you out of almost any hot seat without too much fuss.
1. You must have missed the message
It’s happened before, where you were texting with someone and just before you closed the messaging app, another text came in. It happened so fast that you didn’t see it, but it was enough to trigger the read receipt on the other end. It’s a little tough to explain this one, but it could very well be true, and as long as you get back to them the next time you open your phone, it should be all good.
2. You forgot to respond
Yeah, you saw the text, but you needed a minute to think about your reply. Then something came up and stole your attention. You meant to respond but you forgot – it was a hectic day.
4. You failed to hit send
This happens quite a bit actually. You typed out your reply and then either forgot to hit send or mis-clicked the button. Either way, you thought you sent the message and were waiting on a response yourself. It’s a common mistake, but sorry for the confusion.
5. You were at work and couldn’t reply
It was a busy day in the office or on the job site and you couldn’t reply until now. Let the person know the reason and apologize sorry for making them wait. Maybe make up some excuses to leave work early so you can reply to your missed messages.
6. Your phone was on silent
At work, at the movies or just taking a nap. None of these were a good time for your phone to get blown up with calls or messages, so you put it on mute. You didn’t see the text and that’s why you didn’t reply.
7. The text didn’t arrive
You’ve been having issues with your provider and the reception on your phone has been patchy. Several people have said they weren’t able to reach you today, but there’s nothing you could do about it. It’s a probable excuse for not replying to a text message.
8. You fell asleep
You had a long day and were just watching some TV on the couch when you fell asleep. Either that or you nodded off while thinking of a response, which is why you didn’t get back and left them on read.
9. Your GF or BF deleted the message
Yes, you’re in the type of relationship where you have access to each others’ phones. This excuse would work best if you use it on one of your friends that doesn’t get along well with your significant other. That way it would make sense that they read your message about “let’s go drinking this weekend”, and promptly deleted it.
10. You texted the wrong person back
If you were juggling text messages, it’s possible that you replied to the wrong person. You just found out about it now and you’re a bit embarrassed.
Technology-related excuses for not texting back
Things like your cellphone, laptop, and tablet are amazing tools but they aren’t foolproof in their reliability. The batteries die, phones disappear, or they get damaged in an accident. Sometimes it’s better to blame the machine than yourself and throw your phone under the bus (not literally of course).
1. Your phone died
This one is a classic and for good reason. Having your phone run out of battery is absolutely plausible, and if it happened, there’s no way you could have replied. You’ll have to be careful not to show yourself online somewhere else, like on WhatsApp or Messenger, and if the person you left on read calls you and it rings – your excuse is pooched.
2. You lost cellphone reception
You were traveling through a rural area or surrounded by tall buildings in the downtown core, either of which could have caused you to lose reception. Without the network, there’s no way you would have been able to respond to any messages. This can be a good excuse for not messaging back right away.
3. You misplaced your phone
You’re a scatterbrain, you admit it. Somehow you always end up misplacing something, be it your car keys, your wallet, or in this case your cellphone. You would respond but you needed to find your phone first.
4. Your phone got stolen
Damn your luck, this is the second phone this year that’s been jacked out of your gym locker. You can insert whatever story about how it happened, but your phone got stolen and you’ve been out of the loop ever since. This excuse for leaving someone on read should trigger sympathy instead of anger, but it might be tough to keep the story going if you show up with the same phone later on.
15. You left your phone at home
You were in a rush to get out of the house this morning and you ended up leaving your phone behind by mistake. Not only have you been unable to reply to your messages, but you’ve also had a hell of a time doing pretty much anything – that’s how reliant you’ve become on your mobile device.
6. You dropped your phone in a puddle
Coffee in one hand, phone in the other, and then your clumsy fingers dropped the darn thing straight into a puddle. Your phone spent the last couple of days drying out in a jar of rice and that’s why you weren’t able to respond until now.
7. Your text message plan is limited
The cell phone plan you’re currently signed up for only allows for a limited number of text messages every month. Unfortunately, you received the message but weren’t able to reply without being billed over-limit fees. Too bad your job doesn’t give you a work phone – maybe it’s time to come up with excuses for quitting a job you just started.
You were “busy” excuses for leaving someone on read
Life can get hectic and sometimes text messages aren’t the biggest priority. If something was urgent that person surely would have called instead, right? There are lots of reasons you could have been too busy to respond, and here are our favorites.
1. You were super busy
Another valid excuse for leaving someone on read, provided that you did text them back eventually, sis being super busy. You read the message but were in the middle of something so you couldn’t respond. It could have been a meeting at work or a conference call. Reasons like you were driving, running on a treadmill, or speaking to your mom can be good ones too. Regardless of what you say, you should apologize for not texting back right away, but you’re also allowed to be busy.
2. You were driving
Hands and distraction-free driving isn’t only important, it’s the law. Bad timing that the person messaged you while you were on the road, otherwise your reply would have been quicker to arrive.
3. You were at a doctor’s appointment
Most doctor’s or dentist’s offices are a no-phone zone. We’ve all seen the “please refrain from using your phone” signs posted in the waiting room. So, because you’re not a jackass, you followed the rules and put your phone on airplane mode. You might have read the text but then you weren’t able to reply at the time, which is why you’re using this excuse for leaving someone on read.
4. You were at the gym
Working out properly requires focus and concentration. If you’re constantly texting or browsing social media, then your phone is causing your workout to suffer. You either didn’t check your phone while on the treadmill, or you left it in the changing room locker. Regardless, you didn’t see the message and didn’t respond until later.
5. You were filming a juicy Snap
Making videos to post on social media is one of your hobbies. You also find it really annoying when what you’re doing gets interrupted by messages or worse, phone calls. That’s why when you’re recording, you don’t answer anyone until you’re creative masterpiece is complete.
6. You were in an exam
If there’s one place where a phone isn’t allowed, it’s during an exam. If you started answering messages in the exam hall, you might just get kicked out for cheating and fail your class. Better just to turn the phone on silent and get back to people later on.
7. You were watching a movie
It’s movie night and that means DND time for your phone. Sorry if it was urgent, but you weren’t able to respond until the credits rolled.
8. You were too drunk
A six-pack of beer, some vodka shots and a couple Jello shooters got the better of you last night. You were on the verge of being blackout drunk, so while you did see the message, your inebriated brain couldn’t comprehend formulating a response. It’s a legit excuse for leaving someone on read.
9. You were too hungover
Now its’ the next day and you know you should be getting back to people, but you have a splitting headache and just looking at your phone makes you nauseous. You’ll respond after the Advil kicks in and you start feeling better.
10. You got eyedrops from the doctor
You had an appointment with your optometrist today and they put some drops in your eyes. Now everything is blurry and bright light makes your peepers water. It’s not a great time for texting so you’ll have to get back to your friend later.
11. You were eating
Greasy fingers and texting don’t mix. Neither does talking with your mouth full, which is why this is a good excuse for not getting back to someone right away. After you ate, you had to do the dishes too, which should buy you a few more minutes on the response countdown clock.
12. You had gloves or mittens on
Winter is here and you like to wear gloves so your fingers stay warm. These also make it difficult to text, which is why you read the message but weren’t able to respond. We use this excuse for leaving someone on read almost exclusively during wintertime and it works like a charm.
Honest excuses for leaving someone on read
Depending on who you temporarily ghosted, an honest excuse might be the best option. That way you don’t have to lie, your excuse will really stick, and maybe you’ll come to terms on a few things so that your interactions are better moving forward.
1. You assumed the statement was rhetorical
Whatever the person sent you seemed like it didn’t require a reply. Misinterpretations happen all the time and you weren’t ignoring them, you just weren’t aware that they were awaiting a response.
2. You needed a break
It should be understandable if you needed to take some time away from the hustle of life. These days our phones leave us constantly connected and reachable, which can be quite mentally taxing. That’s why you took a few hours or a couple of days off and didn’t get back to anyone for a while.
3. You had other priorities
It’s as honest an excuse as you’re likely to find when it comes to dealing with conversations that you deem a waste of time. Maybe it’s not even that something is irrelevant to you, it’s just that you had a lot on your plate and some of it took precedence. It might seem harsh, but at least you’re being truthful and not blowing smoke up the persons @#$.
4. You’re just bad at returning text messages
If you’re not into texting as much as others are then there’s a good chance you kinda suck at returning messages. In our opinion, that’s totally fair, and using this as an excuse for not texting someone back is great because it doesn’t leave much to argue about.
5. You didn’t know how to respond
This happens a lot. Someone texts you something heavy or deep and it might take you some time to think about how you want to reply. It’s a polite gesture to send an “I’ll get back to you” message but sometimes that’s not appropriate either. Better just to take your time, send the reply you want, and then let them know why your answer took so long to arrive.
6. You heard that texting could ruin a relationship
It’s true, too much texting can lead to a relationship going stale before it’s past due date. It’s often better to save interactions for a phone call or an in-person meeting so that you have something to talk about when it really matters. Constant texting can also become a drag, which will eventually make people resent having to spend the time. Of course, this doesn’t always apply, but you could use it as an excuse for leaving someone on read if you’re willing to be honest with them.
Call instead of text if you forgot to message back
If you neglected to respond to a text from someone you care about, one of the best things you can do is call them back instead. Apologize for not responding but keep your excuse minimal (because you forgot or whatever), and then address the topic of the conversation you bailed on earlier. When you do that, it shows genuine interest in what’s going on, and that you feel bad about forgetting to reply. It’s a much better option than simply texting some random excuse back without being fully sincere.
Tell the truth about why you didn’t respond to a text
Sometimes you’d be better off just telling the truth. It’s almost more productive to skip inventing an excuse and say exactly why you didn’t respond. It’s also a more mature or honest way of dealing with the issue. If you forgot to respond, weren’t interested in the conversation, or the timing was bad, just say so. If the person has an issue with it, then that’s their problem.
Chances are that your excuse will sound like an excuse, and won’t have the desired effect anyway. If you’re not careful, lame excuses will drive someone away just the same as if you didn’t respond. Those that know you won’t be mad if you don’t reply, and those that don’t know you aren’t worth the hassle.